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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  August 21, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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>> best place to see the eclipse. >> she went up to saratoga where her horse naturally won. guess what she did with the money? >> bought eclipse glasses. >> is there no carly simon? >> i don't know the rest of the song. >> she blew her winnings. she went to nova scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun. >> who is that song about, warren beatty? >> i don't know. anyway it's carly simon. it was war rinne beatty or mick jagg jagger. >> he sings backup vocals. it's 6:00, 10:00 after. is this mika telling me, she said "start talking." i guess i will. i don't understand this solar eclipse thing. everybody is like you come once every 40, 50 years? >> it's coming in five years. >> in five years? okay it was a long time. it was like '79, right, was the last time? >> i paid no attention.
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>> god, you're just not helping me at all. everybody's excited about it. you're not supposed to look up. >> i got goggles. amazon. >> how do you know those goggle also actually work, because what if you get cheap goggles and you look up and zzzt. >> where do you get them from? >> they're like gold, you can't get them. so we're all just going to burn our eyes. >> halperin, there was that fantastic scene in oliver north's hearings where brendan sullivan says "i am not a potted plant, sir." let me just say, you've been off too long. you're sitting there like a potted plant. >> i care so little about this. >> solar eclipse? >> so little about it. i'll watch it on the internet. >> willie would have picked that right up. anyway, i'm obviously here -- >> 99 years. >> 99 years, right, but it is going to happen again very soon.
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>> i reckon they'll get to 1:15 and suddenly you'll get excited. the sky will go dark, it will be mystical. >> i'll be napping. kids don't look up at the sky, it's just not worth it. few things rarely are. with us senior political analyst for nbc news and msnbc i'm not sure why he's here today, mark halperin. washington anchor for bb world news character, catty kay, jeremy pete soerp rson of the "k times" and the professor at the university of michigan school of public policy, former democratic congressman harold ford jr. >> good morning. >> washington senior politics reporter for the "usa today," heidi prisbella. >> is back. >> is back. i saw you in "the post" about the polls in the midwest. president trump obviously was the first republican in three decades this week, michigan,
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pennsylvania and wisconsin but new polls nbc news show the president not doing so well in those three states and these three states are important states because if you talk to people on the inside, from the very beginning and i know gjerey you've heard this, too, they specifically from day one, from january the 20th said we're going to focus on michigan, we're going to focus on wisconsin and pennsylvania. those are the three states we're basically running in over the next four years. in michigan the president has a 36% job approval rating while 55% disapprove and pennsylvania 35 parse prove, 54% days prove and in wisconsin, 34% approve, 56% disapprove, meaning the president has negative ratings of 19 points in michigan and pennsylvania, and 22 in wisconsin, and each of these three states more than 60% of
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voters say, that's six out of ten for you kids at home, they are embarrassed by the president's conduct. fewer than three in ten are proud of his performance and voters in those states say they prefer democrats in control of congress. 13-point gap in michigan, 48 for the democrats, 35 for the republicans and pennsylvania democrats hold a ten-point advantage, 47-37 and wisconsin democrats ahead by eight points, 46-38. and mark, a lot of the things that happen -- first of all we got to say those polls were taken after the president fumbled around the white supremacist comments. so we'll see, but obviously right in the aftermath i would guess those numbers are going to be low. we don't know if they're unusually low, but obviously donald trump did what other republicans couldn't do in winning the election, and winning in the upper midwest,
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and so this actually is, he talks about fake news all the time and fake polls, but you know, this matters to them. >> those numbers reflect the national numbers, three politically important states and if the president wants a fall comeback, he's going to i'm sure ask himself why in three states that he won is his political standing so very weak. >> by the way, of those three he barely won michigan, he barely won wisconsin but he won pennsylvania pretty comfortably. if you want to see a state that's dropped the most at least of those three, pennsylvania's dropped like a rock. >> and it's a state that is politically in tuned to the economic issues that the president ran on which he is going to have to make more progress if he's any more popular. it's interesting, you look at the national poll numbers and think about the southern states where he's still more popular
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although he's lost some support, that offsets some of the weaker numbers in places like california. those three states are great to poll in, because if he is unpopular in those three states he can't hide from the fact he needs a fall comeback if he has the political standing to get anything done. >> catty you see the international polls which really mean nothing. certainly means very little to the white house when they're focusing on 2020, as they were from the day they got in. and you know, alabama, i don't know that his numbers have really changed that much in alabama or mississippi or arkansas, because of what's happened over the past week. so when we see all those polls that say 82% of republicans support donald trump, and what he said, or agree with him or whatever and only a 5% falloff, chances are very good that falloff doesn't come where
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people watch southeastern conference football, but it does where the big ten network's playing around the clock in the fall, like those northern states. it matters. they aren't going to embrace robert e. lee as some cultural icon. >> i was just in europe for a few weeks and i think every single day somebody will come up to me and ask he can't possibly be reelected, right? and because of the peculiarity of the american electoral college mass he has a chance but he has a chance if he can do well in michigan, wisconsin and ohio and the question in six of the ten people that say they are embarrassed by donald trump, how many of those people voted for him last november? that's going to be the critical issue in the mass of the next election. how many people who voted for trump in those key states now say they're embarrassed by him. four are ten are not embarrassed by him. that's a pretty high number. >> yeah, but still, if i'm in
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any, if i'm in politics or tv or anywhere, and 60% of the people say they're embarrassed by my job performance. i'm embarrassed by my job performance. >> majority of the six in ten would have been embarrassed last november. >> this does matter, jeremy, because what happens on capitol hill. people are like wait, why are you going through this, blah, blah, blah. it matters politics, henry kissinger said perception is reality. if you're sitting at 35% in your three most important states everyone's going to look, why do i have to listen to this guy? >> two things, first you brought up his poll numbers among conservatives and republicans and those are eroding at the national level. he was kind of sitting comfortably in the mid 80s, those are sliding down closer to 80, even in the high 70s in some polls that i've seen, that's not great but you're right. what will kill trump politically more than anything else is once
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these senators and congressmen start to feel like they can derive no more political power from him, their constituents don't care about trump anymore. >> if you're not in the deep south you're getting pretty close, aren't you? >> i think so. part of the issue here is it's not just trump's popularity but it's his ability to, these are intertwined his ability to display competence. can they get something like tax reform through the congress and at the same time have an economy that's humming along nicely enough where people can overlook some of the personal foibles and the crises they otherwise would dwell on more if they were hurting financially. >> heidi, it does at the end of the day also, it comes down for so many people behind you on the hill to the fact that this guy is just not getting anything done, and he'll do infrastructure week, then he will say things that will make people think that, you know, he's embracing the klan. suddenly you're like wait a
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second, that off-ramp in, you know, oshkosh may not get done. >> and in some ways, joe, it's almost in the rear view irmore, almost, i say, just because in a couple of weeks these members will all return and at that moment they will literally have weeks to stave off a government shutdown and potential default. we've been down this road before, the same actors who pushed us into this situation before in terms of the tea party and the freedom caucus are still here. there's no reason to think that we aren't going to have a big smackdown drag-out and once we get through that period we're heading into the holidays and heading into an election year so i think that moment that jeremy is talking about is coming close. republicans no longer feeling they have a political benefit here. >> it's not like they can spend the next couple of months or the next month even working proactively. they can't say hey, let's go buffet at morrison's and talk
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about health care. that's not going to happen. they have to keep the government open so it just keeps coming at them and coming at them and the news never gets better or easier. >> i just want to shed some light, joe, as a native michigander on what's behind the numbers. it's not just oh, gee, people may have been disgusted by the way he handled charlottesville. this is -- when has trump returned to michigan or wisconsin or pennsylvania with that fiery populist message on trade, which is the same reason, by the way, that bernie sanders upset hillary clinton in michigan. it was because of the economic argument. i remember the days when you would drive a japanese car into a ford motor parking lot and we'd get keyed. those people are still there. that message on trade is a big part of why he won those midwestern states and he has not championed that agenda. people see the headlines of him
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sitting down at mar-a-lago with the head of china with him kind of backtracking on his fiery china's currency manipulator rhetoric and launching investigations but no real action. >> and again you look at what he said to minute michigan, wisconsin and pennsylvania. he's hired more billionaire ceos, certainly a ton of them and again, i don't say this with any resentment, i'd like to work for goldman sachs but they just won't hire me. he runs against goldman sachs and then the goldman sachs crowd is running the white house, so while it provides comfort to so many of us who think oh, he's got steady hands, so people who have run things before and know what they're doing if you're in michigan or wisconsin or pennsylvania, or ohio. you're like wait a second, this isn't matching up with what he said he was going to do, plus he's getting nothing done. >> echo, i agree. there are people democrats in
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those states or independents in the three states you put the polling data up who voted for obama at least once if not both times. that group to echo every point made are not finding any traction or improvement in material way from trade, jobs. remember he's been through a lot, health care, we forget that debacle and the fact their investigations under way on the hill around russia -- >> can you believe that the white supremacists and klan and neo-nazi dust-up distracted people from russia. >> and north korea. >> and north korea, yes, and possible nuclear -- >> everybody was mentioning the impact on the hill and whether or not members of congress believe there's anything more positive politically to extract from him. the real question is can the president hurt you? i think there's a belief more and more that it can't. alabama as you mentioned is a small example. the president endorsed luther strange who came in second.
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it will be interesting to see what happens in the runoff but it is a small reflection i think and maybe meaningful of where the president's political standing might be. i think heidi's last point about the debt ceiling and the budget, when you come back you'll get a better sense and appreciation for where the president's political standing might be. the president wants to sign a clean bill. it will be interesting to see bannon's exit, close to the freedom caucus. do they give him some friction or tension, and how do the markets react, the financial markets going forward. >> katty? >> i'm less concerned of republicans jumping ship. as of last friday only 14 of 292 on the hill called president trump about his charlottesville display. that's not moral courage. if over this they're still not prepared to say mr. president or donald trump this is not
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acceptable, what's it going to be that gets them there. >> they need to realize he no longer gives them any political power. that comes when his popularity wanes where it was strong. that ticked off the base. the base is irritated trumpwould turn his back on the candidate with conservative grassroots. >> roy moore is going to win. >> looks like. >> the special election, yes. >> someone in the white house told me friday they were looking at polling and roy moore is way ahead. >> people focus on steve bannon's etiology but who is in the white house who has a strategy to try to make things better? >> nobody ever has and that's the thing about bannon. he never really had a strategy. it was piss people off, tear things down, make trump look like an outsider, but there was never, there was never plan b, c, d.
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okay, if we're not going to do this -- there's never been any strategy. >> but you had a guy at least thinking on his own and in reince priebus you had a political person. you have no chief strategist and a chief of staff who is not ideological in the least, he's about executing, not about formulating a grand vision. if they're going to have any political success they need a comeback. who is the architect of a comeback in this white house? >> they need a political mind in the white house right now. they don't have it, somebody that can plan ahead and you can't have these people that were selling real estate six months ago trying to sort -- it's the truth. you just can't. it's so foolish for them to have thought that they could come to washington, d.c., and as we tried to tell them on tv and off tv in one of the most complicated situations ever that have vexed ceos and generals and mit graduates, and the best and the brightest for 200 years, and
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they thought well we've sold some real estate in new york, we can go there and figure it out. no, you can't. it's not that easy. it looks easy. >> it's like renovating the 21 club, right? >> yes. it's like, yes, like that. except even that ended up not being the case. let me ask mark a quick question. i want to, for some reason hope springs eternal on twitter, right? >> that's what it's there for. >> i have been i think it's safe to say very negative about the president on twitter and other people have been very negative, but this weekend there seems to be a turn where a lot of people are negative, have started to talk about impeachment and have started to talk about okay, maybe he's going to resign now and have started to talk about like that donald trump is going to leave town and that things are different now than they've ever been before. i am just as negative on his performance. in fact, more negative,
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charlottesville obviously was one of the most just unbelievably heartbreaking things for anybody that loves america that we've ever seen come out of the white house. he's not going anywhere, mark, is he? where is this coming from? >> because people look at, you know, white houses play offense and defense. what is on the list of playing defense? afghanistan, north korea, the mueller investigation, the debt ceiling. >> but that doesn't mean he's resigning or being impeached. >> of course not but because he's doing nothing on offense and offense would be tax reform, would be front and center because there's no sign they're doing anything on offense it's easy for the large percentage of the country, tens of millions of americans who would like him to go. i spent three days in hollywood, they want to know when is he leaving. it's not if. it's like what is the date he's out of office. >> you went to the heart of america. >> i put my finger on the pulse of an important segment. >> yeah, you bring that up only to say, talk about?
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>> they're kind of the extreme case, 3,000 miles away. they simply want to know when he's leaving. >> he's not going anywhere until bob mueller says he's going somewhere. jeremy? >> you were asking about strategy and where the strategory, now that bannon is gone if he had a strategy. bannon realized you're not getting the voters mark is talking about. there is nobody out there who didn't vote for donald trump the first time around who is saying you know what? maybe he's not so bad. let me give him a second look. that's not happening and bannon understood that. his argument was you got to double down on the base and go back to trade, you got to go back to immigration and tell these people who supported you, show them that you're keeping your promises. but unfortunately for trump, that list of promises is unfulfilled. >> that wasn't a strategy but it was an ideology. you could say there was a political theory, that's what nationalist populism was but i
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don't know what the political, we don't know how far that goes for trump himself. maybe now we'll learn whether trump really is an economic nationalist or populist. >> he lost by 3 million votes. this is what i never understood about steve bannon's play to the base. he lost by 3 million votes. he barely scraped by in michigan and wisconsin. he just -- everything that happened right, that one day happened, and it's the reason why he won, and to say we're just going to go back and get the same people so we can lose by 3 million votes when it and cross our fingers and hope every domino falls, that's just idiocy. from the start they should have tried to grow their base, despite what he says because the base wasn't big enough. if he had won by 52% i'd say play to your 52%. ignore the other 48% if that's the only thing you can do.
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that's why bannon so misplayed his hand. they were playing the base, playing the base. it was already a small business and part of those people that voted for him are people that didn't approve of him at the time. they were mainstream republicans who said, god, i can't stand him, and i can't stand hillary. i just can't vote for hillary. i'm not going to admit it to anybody but i can't vote for hillary and they'd go and vote for trump. and there were millions of mainstream republicans who did that, who now would never vote for donald trump because of what steve bannon and donald trump have done over the past several months. >> and things like charlottesville make things this much tougher. one thing bannon was for that i don't think the administration is for, tax cuts. bannon advocated changing the proposed tax cut to not give as much to the wealthy. >> wanted to raise taxes on the rich? >> or keep the rate the same, not give the rich a tax cut in terms of the margin of rate.
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that is meant to expand the appeal trump could get from people. i don't think there's a single person in the administration who would like to do it that way except maybe the president but i don't think he'll get his way. >> the political tragedy of steve bannon is if you look at what he and trump are talking about, which was sort of a conservative populist world view and being tougher on countries that had taken advantage of this in the past and not just paying all of your attention to tax cuts for the rich, that is something that actually get you beyond. 42%, 45% and also on imgration which by the way i thought that abortion was the issue that isolated people in the media from like half of america, more than any other issue. there's a new winner. it's immigration. 80% of americans agree with steve bannon and donald trump's
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view of less immigration in america. they may not agree with all the harshness but donald trump wasn't losing numbers because of immigration while we were all freaking out on tv, but what steve bannon showed, harold, was you know, you can have ideas that might work, but if you don't know how to implement them and more importantly for donald trump and everybody in the administration, if you don't know how to get along with people in washington, if you don't understand that washington is a game of addition and subtraction and like what you and i did, i don't agree but hey look i've got this bill, i want it to pass. how do you want to change it, joe, which is the first time i met harold, here is a plan i've got for education reform. look at it, anything you'd change and we'll work together on it. they don't understand that.
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until they understand it they're going to keep losing. >> it was reported steve bannon said to republicans on capitol hill you better do this and spoke down to republicans which didn't go over very well. the republicans control the house and the senate. voters in michigan, wisconsin, ohio, pennsylvania are wondering we elected this guy, he said he'd make health care better and make trade better, going to go after the countries. >> not only that, he said it was going to be easy. this is easy. >> all of this would be easy. >> i'm the biggest dealmaker of all-time. >> he'd lower taxes for small businesses and none of these things happened and a lot of people in these states, the national press and cable press, people listen but end of the day they step back and do their own assessment. the things he promised, health care, taxes, trade, jobs, there hasn't been any progress on. particular when you look at health care that's the republican identity for seven years was to undue the affordable care act and
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president trump then candidate trump said it would be easy to do, i'll make it more accessible, just watch. people are watching and nothing has happened. steve bannon you can't grow your base without adding people to your base and you can't grow that base unless you execute. even with bannon to mark's point he was a strategist but there was no one who could execute, the person who is likely to execute, reince priebus, has been pushed out. you have no one able to say taxes or whatever we have to get done. going back to heidi's point the debt ceiling if they don't get this done, i mean the kind of roiling of markets and the country and for that matter global markets will happen -- >> guess what they have to do to get it done? >> work with democrats. >> they have to work with democrats. i talked to somebody in the administration, a fire breather and was asked at the end, you've been around here for a while. what's your advice? i said politics is a game of
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addition. go forth and make friends. that's what it's about. addition. and seven months in the trump administration still doesn't understand that. you've got to actually get people on your side that you don't naturally agree with and that they don't naturally agree with you. this would be a really good morning to call chuck schumer. still ahead on "morning joe" this morning, ten sailors are tragically missing at sea, another run-in involving a navy ship has officials searching for crew and answers. we're going to get a live report. plus president trump is set to announce his strategy in afghanistan. we are going to talk to a member of the armed services committee, senator tim kaine, he'll be here on the set. plus the ap's julie pace and "new york times" columnist brett stevens w stephens who we always bring around to make trouble.
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does he have the beard that eclipses his face or shave it off? >> i think he has it in honor of the eclipse. >> we shall see. make sure when you look on the tv set when brett comes on if he has the beard eclipse. wear your glass. you're watching "morning joe." don't look up, kid. knowing where you stand has never been easier. except when it comes to retirement. at fidelity, you get a retirement score in just 60 seconds. and we'll help you make decisions for your plan...
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bannon is just the latest in a string of recent departures. >> this picture of the president in the oval office with his top advisers was taken just days after the inauguration. now, national security adviser michael flynn gone, press secretary sean spicer gone, chief of staff reince priebus gone, and finally today, steve bannon. >> wow! he is surrounded by four white nothings and mike pence. >> all right, coming up, we've
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got more on steve bannon, and i thought jeremy, it was fascinating, a line in your article you and maggie's article about steve bannon actually thought he was going to go into the white house and be president. >> in the campaign trump treated him more like a peer and once he got to the white house he started telling people you know what? i'm just staff. >> well because -- >> that's what you are. >> hello! yeah, only one president. anyway, steve bannon out of the white house, and savoring the quote, having his hands back on his weapons. okay. jeremy peters was one of the last reporters to talk to him before he left the white house and one of the first afterwards. we will eight get his latest reporting and ask him about steve bannon's weapons and also bring in "the washington post's" bob costa. plus republicans run circles around democrats when it comes to fund-raising. we're going to break down the
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numbers, ask what it means for nancy pelosi's dream of winning back the gavel. i'm going to talk harold, to you about the fact that the cook political report has moved five senate seats over the past week, four moved in the republicans' direction and i just got to say we're going to talk about how democrats who think that donald trump's going to put them back in power next year are clueless. they've got to actually rebuild their party and stand for something unifying. democrats, i cannot believe, if they blow this opportunity it will be one of the most staggering losses in, well, since the last solar eclipse. "morning joe" coming right back. discover card.
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developing overnight crews in the waters of south china sea are searching for ten navy sailors who are missing after a guided missile destroyer collided with another ship. military officials say the collision between the "uss john
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mccain" and a merchant ship happened in the waters east of singapore in the straits of malacca late yesterday. five other sailors were hurt. president trump said this during his return to the white house last night. >> any comment on the "uss john mccain"? >> that's too bad. too bad. >> it's not clear what the president thought he was responding to over that noise of marine one. two hours later the president tweeted out our thoughts and prayers are with our u.s. navy sailors aboard the "uss john k. mccain" where search and rescue efforts are under way. live from seoul, south korea, we bring in cal perry. cal, what is the latest in the search for these missing american sailors? >> reporter: it's a joint search happening in those waters off of singapore. the good news is the water is warm, the bad news is there's probably an hour of daylight
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left. they'll probably have to put a halt to that search pretty soon. this comes on the heels of the "uss fitzgerald" two months ago, seven u.s. sailors were killed in almost exactly the same incident t collided with another ship, off the coast of the philippines. the question for the 7th fleet is what is going on with the ships in we talk about itthe aes destroyers and the surface-to-air missiles, and these carry the finest navigation equipment. right now the priority is locating those ten u.s. sailors. one more thing this ship named after john mccain's father and grandfather, big named big bad john and one more example of the indelible legacy the mccain family has left on the navy. >> thanks so much, cal perry, greatly appreciate it. our thoughts and prayers with the sailors and their families. let's hope it is good news in the end for those they're
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searching for. going back to steve bannon quickly, you did the story on him, he's going to breitbart and is he -- do you think he's just blowing smoke? is it one of these art of war things that when you're weak, look strong and when you're strong look weak or is he excited about getting back in the saddle. >> if you watch "game of thrones" he's like arius stark who has the list of people she wants to kill and she does and crosses them off one at a time. that's what bannon is like and his first targets will be the republican establishment, speaker ryan and mitch mcconnell. whether or not breitbart becomes more of a noise making machine in this cacophony of republican infighting i don't know but in the past they've had success in toppling leaders of the establishment, eric cantor the best example but also a lot of swings and misses. >> gabe sherman says he's going after jared kushner first.
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>> no, i don't think that's right. >> mark halperin if i'm steve bannon and i look at the landscape and i look at fox news trying to figure out exactly what it's going to be after roger ailes, i team up and start a conservative populist network and i mean, the money there would be outrageous. if you do it right. if you do it wrong, you're bankrupt, but the opportunities there are just extraordinary. >> there are two metrics, one is commercial success, more eyeballs and the other is more influence. breitbart was influential before bannon left and influential in his absence. he has the capacity using the experience he gained in the white house, he understands more about the world than he did nine months ago to increase their influence and their influence in the offices of house republican members is bigger on many days than fox news is. >> i would be surprised if he and the mercers weren't trying to figure out a way to start a tv network that competes with
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fox. we'll see. still ahead, two scathing columns from the op-ed page of the "new york times." we'll read what maureen dowd and frank brooney had to say and "the washington post's" bob costa latest reporting on what we can expect from the white house and washington this week. ♪ walter? hmm? is that the rest of our food? what? no.
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so why hasn't the way we pay for them? introducing xfinity mobile. you only pay for data and can easily switch between pay per gig and unlimited. no one else lets you do that. see how much you can save. choose by the gig or unlimited. xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit or go to xfinitymobile.com. you know, jeremy if i'm steve bannon, i just focus on the wall. that was his big promise. >> um-hum. >> that's what republicans aren't going to give him and he hammers the wall, the wall, the wall, the wall, the wall, knowing that they're never going to give donald trump the money for the wall, but that's how he whips up his base and he makes that the issue instead of going after all these other people, you go after that one issue and who knows? maybe he moves trump that way. >> it would seem to be the one issue, the one promise trump cannot waiver on and steve
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bannon understands that better than anyone else and from the outside, with a weapon like breitbart, you are really able to kind of change the conversation on capitol hill by hammering where is the funding for this wall? you are denying the president this campaign promise he made to the people. they elected him and you better come up with it and that can be a big fight with republicans. >> heidi, what is the chance that mitch mcconnell will ever give money in a spending bill or in a raising the debt ceiling for donald trump to build this wall that just about every expert says won't stop the flow of immigrants illegal immigrants especially since more are going south to mexico than north to america right now. >> about between zero and 0.1 i'd say. >> yes. >> the wall funding wasn't an issue even when there was a pretense that trump did have political capital, and we thought that he might be able to get some things done but it
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certainly isn't in the cards now but where i think bannon can be very effective is not pushing this policy agenda but at that point that jeremy describes where republicans realize they're not going to be able to get much done, bannon turns his machine fire on those republicans. i was in trump district, joe, this past week in southern illinois, and i'll explain to you what's behind those numbers, and why those republican numbers aren't moving much, because they don't blame trump. they blame congress already. so that is already, that's sentiment is already planted and i think bannon could be very effective when it comes time to assign blame in this administration, for why they haven't gotten anything done, somebody's going to take the fall and i this i that trump will be happily team up with bannon in trying to turn that fire onto republicans. >> attacking the do nothing republican congress. with us bring in political reporter for "the washington post" and moderator of
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"washington wieek" on pbs bob costa. lot of chaos over the past several weeks especially since charlottesville. there was chaos before that but it really has gone into hyper speed, and with steve bannon out of the white house on friday, what's the new white house look like on monday and what are you expecting to see over the next few weeks? >> what we saw on friday, joe, was the war cabinet, the different military officials meet with the president at camp david and so the afghanistan remarks tonight will be really crucial in signaling not only the president's policy but who he is as president. he ran as someone who is somewhat skeptical of intervention, someone who soured on the wars in afghanistan and iraq by the time he ran for president in 2015 and now he's going to be likely based in my reporting approving a few thousand more troops going to that country. will that hold, and then the next day you have him going to arizona amid all of this talk about what happened in
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charlottesville and his response to charlottesville. >> mark halperin let's talk about tonight and get to the arizona rally, which could cause some real problems for the trump white house. tonight afghanistan the president goes out as commander in chief and talks about an issue that's been haunting this country for 16 years now. >> victory is just around the corner, according to pentagon, always in the war in afghanistan. steve bannon and the president were lonely voices in the administration for saying we need a different strategy. we can't do more of the same to try to avoid a loss or imagine a victory. the pentagon was going to get its way, and it has. it's not what the president talked about as a candidate. it shows the force of the deep state, if you want to call it that, and of the military arguing to every president they did to president obama. you don't want to be the president who loses this. >> it's not as if we don't have
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precedent. barack obama removed all the troops from iraq, said it was time, and created a massive void that we're still paying for in a vicious way five years later. and donald trump has to know that. >> yeah. that irritating reality of iraq hangs over his decisions on z n afghanistan. they say we have 16 one-year strat sis in afghanistan. the question is has the white house come up with more of that or is this more of the same of we'll put in a few more troops to stop the tide of the tall ban taking over afghanistan without any strategy. it's hard to see how the strategy has changed. this looks just like more of the same of what the obama administration did. >> harold, bob brought up the rally in arizona tomorrow. there's a chance donald trump may go out there and actually
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pardon the sheriff who defied a judge and a judge's order and violated it, ignored it, and is in the middle of that process, and if he does that, he may please three or four white nationalists, but he will further enrage every judge from maine to southern california. >> there's so many multiplier effects of us. one, i'm not clear if you do want immigration reform that includes a wall, does this indear you to democrats and republicans? we keep talking about how he has to win democrats over. he also as to reunite his party. republicans in arizona are urging the president to postpone the trip in light of all the things happening around him. tim scott, the republican senator from south carolina who happens to be african american
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said over the weekend that president trump's moral authority has been weakened. i'm being charitable, i think, in describing what he said. we all knew there would be a moment when the president would have to look the american people in the eye and talk to us about national security. this is one of those nights. the president's moral authority has been challenged. it will be curious to hear. i think he's going to be doing what's said. he will package it differently. hopefully they have a strategy. i doubt they will. you have wonder who believes him. if the wisconsin, pennsylvania, nebraska numbers believe him, believe heard him and said this is not something america should be in, but we're traveling down that path. and south korea and the u are engaged in joint military exercises as we speak directed at -- showing we can deal with north korea. north korea prompted their lead tore say he's going to launch a series of missiles at the united states. now, whether he does it or not, it's amazing we're not talking
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about this this morning. all of these distractions, bannon and others are taking us away from so many important issues. i hope you're about immigration. if that's where the focus is -- >> bannon's. >> i mean if that's where his focus is which turns the administration to that, we've got bigger problems. >> bob costa, take a look. this is the senator from south carolina, senator tim scott over the weekend. >> as we look to the future, it's going to be very difficult for this president to lead if, in fact, that moral authority remains compromised. his comments on tuesday that erased his positive comments on monday started to compromise that moral authority that we need the president to have for this nation to be the beacon of light to all mankind. >> it is pretty extraordinary, bob, the number of reason senators and maybe it's eight, nine, ten, whatever it is, it's
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pretty significant that the president's having more and more senators speak out against him. he flies into arizona and has two senators, two united states senators who are republicans from arizona who are openly hostile to his actions since charlottesville, and have been more hostile than most. >> that's right. and to follow up on congressman ford's point, you think about the response tonight. if the president strikes traditionally hawkish tones on his rhetoric in afghanistan, you'll see some applause from the regular republican ranks. if the now has bannon out, we always talk about bannon, but what's really revealing is who is still there. general kelly, general mattis, general mcmaster. these are the people the president is now surrounding himself with along with jared kushner, the senior adviser. does he pay a cost for even as
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he gets applause, does he pay a cost with his base in the states that send a lot of people abroad to fight for their country? >> i just don't think he does. in fact, i know he doesn't. i'm telling you -- >> when you say he doesn't, he doesn't what? >> pay for being responsible for listening to three men who have fought in wars for this country for years. one who has given his own son. >> yep. >> for the service of this country. this -- it's a mirage that somehow there are going to be white nationalists who go up in arms. if donald trump does the responsible thing and doesn't pull off the troops out of afghanistan like barack obama did in iraq back in 2011 which a lot of us thought, hey, that's great. we've been fighting there too long. and then saw it blow up in everybody's face, i mean, he's not going to lose any more
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support for looking presidential and listening to general mcmaster, general kelly, and general mattis. >> i agree he won't pay a bigger price, but in the larger question of what he's doing day today to bend congress to his will, i don't think this helps him. >> i think think looking as presidential as this man with look, delivering a message and sending a message to congress that the amateurs are out and he has people who have been fighting hard fights and actually going into battle with men and women and losing their own sons, somebody that understands the cost of these things, i think that helps him. not only with members of congress but with a lot of people in the country. bob costa, thank you so much for being with us. we hope you come back very soon. and bob, do you have glasses for the solar eclipse? >> i think i'm just going to stay at my desk. >> yeah, i think so.
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all right. thank you so much, bob. >> "morning joe" is coming right back. centurylink to keep their global campus connected. and why a pro football team chose us to deliver fiber-enabled broadband to more than 65,000 fans. and why a leading car brand counts on us to keep their dealer network streamlined and nimble. businesses count on communication, and communication counts on centurylink. tap one little bumper and up go your rates. what good is having insurance if you get punished for using it? for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. liberty mutual insurance.
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welcome back to "morning joe." it's monday, august 21st. mika has the morning off. with us, mark halpern, catty k, jeremy peters, harold ford junior, and also heidi prizbel, and yamis h alsador and jonathan swan. let's start with the new nbc polls and how the president has disappointed voters in the three states the white house has considered his most important
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states since he first got sworn in on january 20th. michigan, pennsylvania, and wisconsin. in michigan 36% of the voters approve of the president's job performance. 55% disapprove. pa shows 35% approving. 54% disapproving. wisconsin, 34% approve while 56% disapprove. the president has negative points of 19 in michigan and pennsylvania and 22 points in wisconsin. in each of the states more than 63% of the voters say they're embarrassed by the president's conduct. what's your take away? >> these are important states but politically but they're not so different from what the president is seeing around the country. presidents who have tough summers talk about comebacks in september. the white house will have to look at the numbers and see if there's seeds of possibly doing things differently and better. if you're thinking about having your finger on the pulse of an
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economic message, it's a horrible number. >> horrible numbers but a horrible calendar ahead of him. he can't huddle everybody together and start talking act passing health care reform, because he's got some looming crises. legislative crises coming up in september and october on the hill. >> right. there's a whole faction in the white house that is going to make this no easier on him than they did on president obama. this is how we spent the past five to eight years was arguing over these spending bill increases, these so-called continuing resolutions, and that is what i would predict is that we're going to have a food fight. we're going to get some kind of a temporary patch that gets us through maybe to christmas. it's going to be time consuming and consume a lot of energy up here on capitol hill. the president has not shown that he's willing to go out and take to the bully pulpit and go to places like arizona to stump for those things like infrastructure that could be the things that
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would bring both sides of the aisle together to get things done. >> if you're a member of the freedom caucus, you have to go back to your district. everybody says wait, we still have obamacare. you've been promising me we're going to get rid of it for seven years, and let me get this straight. we got a $20 trillion national debt and you voted to raise the debt ceiling? i'm just telling you right now, a lot of people think i've gone moderate or squishy. i wouldn't make that vote unless i got a lot in return. if you're talking about long-term entitlement reform, i'll talk about raising the debt ceiling. i'm not going to put 70% of the budget or cutting big bird or national institutes of health. if you want to talk about real spending restraint over the next 20 years, then talk to me. they're never going to do that. so how does a member of the freedom caucus go back to their
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districts and go to town hall meetings through the end of the year and say, we did nothing on obamacare. we've done nothing on tax reform, and look at me, i'm your guy. i just raised the debt ceiling so we can spend more than $20 trillion in debt. ain't going to happen, and it shouldn't happen for those members of the freedom caucus. >> i'd be curious to see the way we're describing the poll is 6 out of 10 voters are embarrassed by trump. how many people think he's incoffi incompetent? there's a blame the do nothing congress. then you blame the other party. they're blaming their own party in this regard. whether it's health care or taxes, i think heidi is right. they're going to punt the debt ceiling and the freedom caucus members are going to say we will not vote for a permanent one for the bill into next year unless you deal with some sort of spending bill. i don't know how they do it.
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>> editorial writers, let me just tell e.p.s and people that run networks. just mark it downright now. if you're a member of the freedom caucus, jeremy, you can't vote for a clean. everybody's going to go just vote for a clean, the full faith and credit of the united states. i'm telling you that's like telling nancy pelosi to go to her people and say, you know what? we really need to pass that pro-life bill. they can't do it politically. >> no. and do that litany of things that the republican congress and president trump failed to achieve, i would add two more important ones. the wall. by the way, they haven't approved a penny for this wall. number two, the obamacare payments that presumably will be part of any kind of budget resolution that congress comes up with. if president trump signs a budget that has no funding for the wall, not a penny for the
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wall, and includes payments to insurers to keep obamacare going, there will be a revolt on the right. steve bannon understood this. on his way out the door he was telling everybody who listened, september is going to be a meat grinder for the president. >> it's going to be terrible. it's simple. if i'm running against a member of the freedom caucus who votes to raise the debt ceiling, just sort of make this easier for everybody to understand, i would go out and say look, look, look what he has done. or what he hasn't done. he said for seven years he's been telling us we're going to get rid of obamacare. we haven't. said he was going to build the wall. there ain't to wall. tax reform. have they passed tax reform? no. congressman so and so hasn't done it, but you know what he has done? he stole more money from our children and grandchildren. we had a $20 trillion national debt.
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he won't do what it takes to save social security and medicare and medicaid, but he will raise the debt ceiling. >> that's why the most likely outcome is a full capitulation of nancy pelosi to get her to raise the debt ceiling. >> if you're a member of the freedom caucus and you vote for the debt ceiling increase, all the do gooders across the northeasts and on both coasts, nothing they say is going to ring true to everybody. >> i didn't vote to raise the debt ceiling because when they were trying to do it, they weren't doing anything in return. they were saying we just want a want debt ceiling this time. our vote was to raise it $4 trillion. they're at $20 trillion. why do you need a clean debt ceiling increase? why can't people say, you're going to take care of america's
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long term entielgsment program, show me how and then talk to me about raising the debt ceiling. >> that's what steve bannon wanted. they were happy to see the welfare protected, social security -- happy to have taxes raised on the wealthy and blow up free trade agreements. >> so many of the trump voters and former tea party members, again, my favorite poll of the past decade. how many of you want the government involved in health care? like 80% don't. how many want to see medicare reform to save? nobody. 75 % said don't touch my medicaid. >> keep government. >> the biggest spending program that is facing the greatest fiscal explosion, the tea
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partiers were saying five or six years ago, don't touch it. >> the question is will the democratic left demand nancy pelosi insist on? >> that's why i said donald trump's first call needs to be chuck schumer. they need to get 30 democratic votes in a way that doesn't sell out donald trump's space. let's go to jonathan swan right now. jonathan, as bad as things are -- first of all, let's rewind. 2016. we saw all the stories about the republican party. i wrote a lot of them, the republican party is imploding. the republican party is going to die because donald trump is a racist. tend of abraham lincoln's party. they were following trump down this racist rabbit trail. then republicans have the biggest year ever. here we have in 2017 starting to
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hear the same thing. republicans in trouble, but it's a democratic party right now that seems to be wandering around in the wilderness. they're out of power. republicans are outraising them, and a lot of the senate races don't seem to be going their way. >> yeah. that's all fine, but that could all change in four weeks. i think mark was right. what we're going to see when congress returns is a package that is basically a democratic wish list. the way they'll raise the debt ceiling, it's predictable. it's going to be a package with a continuing resolution to fund the government, kwien combined with a debt ceiling raised, and then reauthorizing the children's health insurance program and a few other goodies. and you're going to have all these conservatives come home empty handed. they're saying we'll have the wall fight in december. i think it could shut down the government at the end of the year.
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t not going to happen in september. and then tax reform. if they don't get that done, you come into 2018, the democrats are spinning around and twisting in the wind, but it's pretty hard as a republican to face your voters having achieved nothing but kneneil gorsuch in previous year. >> that doesn't get the democrats a message that's coherent or a messenger or where they manage to marry the two wings of their party. they don't have the plan and they don't have the people. >> i couldn't agree more, but maybe they don't need it. maybe for 2018 they can still take back the house with a completely inept party and message. >> harold, a couple things. we talked about the political report showing four of five races they moved last week moved into the republican's direction. senate races, i mean. but in the house almost all of the seats, you pointed this out,
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that republicans or democrats need to take from republicans, donald trump is more popular than nancy pelosi and probably chuck schumer. >> it's sad, but revealing that -- be. >> if you're driving in your car, july fundraising totals, republicans 10.2 million, democrats 3.8 million. explain that. >> it reinforces everything being said. you have democrats with the left on social, left on economic, how do you bring these things together. unfortunately for democrats, and this is something that's a reality. leader pelosi is less popular than donald trump is where democrats have to win. the numbers are 23 or 24 seats that -- the hope that democrats can win in those places. look at the polling data there. it's not necessarily that encouraging. and without a message i think
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the messengers can come together and find local messengers. without a message and a local messenger, it's difficult to construct a path of victory for senates winning the majority and democrats in the house doing it as well. >> what do the republican congressional leaders think they can get done between now and halloween? >> it's really hard for me to say. i think that they're looking at this idea of the fact that they haven't been able to get anything done. realistically, i don't think tax reform is going to get done or infrastructure. i don't think they're going to be able to vote to fund the wall. steve bannon told the president he should shut down the government if there's an issue with funding the wall. at the end of the day, i don't think the president is really going to be able to force congress to go ahead and fund that wall. i think when republicans are looking down the line, they're wondering if the only thing they're going to be able to talk about is neil gorsuch and the fact they're able to get a
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supreme court seat. i think a lot of democrats will be able to say the republicans didn't get anything done. one of the things i want to go back to is the idea of the democrats and their issues. i think democrats still are on this anti-trump tip. they're on this idea that they can continue to say that president trump is terrible, that he's had this conversation after charlottesville, that his messages was off, that he's boasting white supremacists. democrats, what have you done to somehow mitigate white supremacy? did you realize how big of an issue it was? while we're looking at the poll numbers and i've been talking to trump voters over the weekend and last week. while they think it was problematic for donald trump to maybe say those things, they don't see the democrats being a party as having the answers because they don't. >> and i mean, and you can actually see it in the numbers. the republicans, again, i think a lot of us are doing what we did in 2016. i mean, we spent all 2016
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talking -- not you but just around this table, talking act how bad things for going for the republican party, how they were embracing race baiting and their policies were not positive or optimistic. and they ended up taking over everything. 2017 has been even worse. we're all shocked by what happened in charlottesville. we're shocked by how inept donald trump has been as president of the united states, and yes, he has low numbers, but we were -- while you were talking, we were putting up numbers. like cash on hand. the republicans have $47.1 million cash on hand. the democrats only have $6.9 million cash on hand. and you look at the money that they have raised in 2017. republicans have doubled democrats $86.5 million to $42 million in just about every case
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it seems when a party is out of power, people get energized and they get focussed, and you really see things change. but again, as we keep -- even senate races. for some reason that i just can't explain, are breaking republicans' way, which what does that say about the democrat party right now and what is your feeling from what you -- when you talk to democratic activists, what do democrats think they need to do to turn this around? >> i think there's two things. democrats really need to figure out kind of who the party is. they're still arguing about whether or not they're going to be hillary clinton's party or bernie sanders party. they're going to end up in the middle. they also need to find new fresh blood, leaders that haven't been there for decades and decades. right now the face of the party is whether or not they want to be a 70-something democratic socialist or whether they want to be chuck schumer. both of those figures don't look like a lot of their base. i say that republicans, while we
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talk about donald trump as being a race baiter, we have to remember america is a very segregated place. america has never been a place that's a melting pot and we've all been kind of racially happy together. race baiting actually works, because there are people that i've interviewed that say there are too many blacks in my community, and some of the communities are 95% white. that's an actual anecdote from my reports. i talked to people in wisconsin who said there are too many african americans moving here. i'm like we're a county of 95 white. i talked to another woman who said a lot of my cab drivers are foreigners and have accents. people are worried about the fact that america is changing. that, unfortunately, and fortunately in some ways, that is not going to change. america is getting browner. that has a lot of people, including trump supporters and also republicans very anxious. >> i think democrats in general too, certainly in the midwest. the democrats that you saw, always vote democrat, a lot of the union guys, it's -- it is --
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it's pretty staggering. that said, that's not a majority. demographics are on the democratic party's side. >> yeah. >> there's no way, though, that they should be struggling in fundraising. there's no way they should be struggling in races the way they are given the horrid performance out of the white house, and on capitol hill from republicans. >> and something that nobody talks about, nobody likes to talk about is trump isn't as unpopular with hispanics and blacks as democrats like to think. >> his numbers proved that. >> one-third of hispanics vote for donald trump. >> the idea the democrats can run against donald trump and hope he implodes, that didn't work last time. >> by the way, that's a miscalculation when the democrats say we're going to have a permissive policy on illegal immigration.
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thinking crudely believing this is going to make all hispanics vote for him. >> it doesn't. >> a good chunk of hispanics have been proven to be conservative socially, conservative catholics and all things being equal, they'll vote for a republican if given that chance. >> conservative on immigration too. >> that's right. >> democrats lose in that special election in georgia with john aussif showed a lot. none of them have broken through as someone who is a warrior against donald trump in a way that will inspire people to open their checkbooks. >> jonathan, what are democrats on the hill saying? how are they going to turn this around? >> well, i think one of the biggest problems is the dnc brand is a disaster. i mean, the party brand has been
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so wrecked over the last year. wikileaks has played into that. and what you hear when you talk to people on the hill is all the energy is outside of the party. it's kind of diffused groups like indivisible and resist rallies. there's a lot of energy and a lot of it channelled into the aussif race. there's still no clear direction for the party. you hear different figures for 2020. the party needs to figure it out. >> all right. jonathan, thank you so much. thank you all. harold, there is a lot of energy in the bernie wing, elizabeth warren wing of the party. but that wing of the party is not going to win the 25, 30 seats in the south and the
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midwest that where republicans are holding the seats, they're not going to win those seats, because they're culturally divided. not knocking them at all, but they're going to have to find some people that, again, fit those seats culturally. >> we sometimes extrapolate from our coastal supporters that on social issues, there's a mirroring of those things in the middle of country because there's democrats. pro-life democrats are being shunned by liberal progressives in the country. i'm pro-choice, but we want to win. you have to expand on your point. in the counties across this country where the median income is less than $50,000 we're going to cut taxes on every small business and alleviate any taxes small businesses pay for obama care. we'll fix flint and add that to every bill that comes before the
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house and the senate to give us some message that can perhaps super cede pelosi. she is not the most popular person if we're going to win back the seats. if democrats are content in going to a small meeting, keep doing what you're doing. if you're serious about winning, listen to the tim ryans of the party to do it in the house and the senate. and project that message nationally. we have a guy getting ready to come on, tim kaine, who understands this. i hope democrats will rally around an economic message. if we do, we have a shot. with if we believe it's all anti-social and anti-trump and as horrible as this white supremacist thing is, that alone is not going to carry us to victory. it will be a component, but it won't be the decisive issue in carrying us to a win. >> democrats need to focus a lot more on -- democrats that know how to win in virginia, democrats that know how to win in north carolina.
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democrats who know how to win in west virginia, democrats that know how to win in states that -- north dakota and montana. >> president trump's announcement tonight on afghanistan is going to be made on national television. what's the new strategy 16 years after americans started fighting there? we'll be talking to tim kaine about that. he sits on the armed services committee, and we'll get his take also on what democrats need to do to have a strong 2018. also we're going to get the president's -- his reaction to what the president said about the ugly events in charlottesville. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. (vo) dogs have evolved,
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we're following two big stories out of the pentagon. president trump is going to address the nation tonight to talk about the path forward in afghanistan. and crews are in the waters of the south china seas searching.
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we've got military reporter kourtney kubi. what can you tell us? what's the latest in the search in the south china sea? >> it's remarkable that for the second time in about two months we have a u.s. navy ship that collided with a merchant vessel. this time the "uss mccain" collided with a merchant vessel striking and causing a huge hole in the side of the ship. ten u.s. navy sailors are missing. five were injured and four of them were med vacced off the ship. there's an extensive exhaustive research and rescue operation going on right now to find the missing sailors. it's evening in the area and getting dark again. a tragic situation for the united states navy this summer.
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this comes -- >> how does that happen? does the pentagon have any explanation why, first of all, why this happened in the first place. again, we had the tragedy repeated last night. >> of course. last week we heard about the ""uss fitzgerald"", we heard the investigation from the details. these ships have tremendously advanced navigation systems. it seeming amazing to us. in the case of the fitzgerald, it was a confluence of tragic mistakes and sometimes just circumstances. in this case the mccain, of course, we don't know yet. i'll say the straits of malacca is a busy waterway. >> thank you so much, kourtney. we greatly appreciate it. let's bring in member of the armed services and foreign relations committee, tim kaine, democratic senator of virginia. senator, thank you for being
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with us. obviously, i know your thoughts and prayer are with those servicemen and women and their families. what do you expect to hear tonight from the president trump? what do we need to hear from the president about a war that's been going on for 16 years? >> we've been led by chairman mccain saying where's the strategy on afghanistan in a couple months ago there was news president trump was letting mattis determine troop strengths. it sounds like secretary mattis had the same idea. i'm not going to commit troops until we resolve on a strategy. we're going to hear from the president tonight, what is at stake and why the united states continues to need to be invested in afghanistan. i think the answer is we want to be invested in afghanistan. i mean, to kind of put it bluntly so what happens in afghanistan stays in afghanistan. there's no spillover affect into a nuclear armed nation that could harm us.
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>> i suppose this president can't afford to say -- certainly this president of all presidents, but at some point are we going to have leaders that are going to say we don't love being over there. we don't even like being over, but it's just like south korea. we don't love having our 30,000 troops in south korea, but we've needed them there. are we getting to that point in afghanistan? >> i think the answer does have to be we can't control the internal politics of afghanistan. they have corruption issues and other things. if we think we can solve it with a magic wand, we're wrong. we need to make sure afghanistan isn't a breeding ground for things that can come back and hurt us. >> obviously. like september 11th. which is why we're there. >> i think we missed an opportunity. we can look back and say wow, after the death of bin laden, there was not an okay, let's just stop and rel look at what is the continuing mission in
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afghanistan. that was such a powerful success of the obama administration, but then there was a failure after by everybody to say now what's the continuing rationale for being here? and we haven't had that discussion, and if the president lays this out tonight, senator mccain had already drafted an afghanistan strategy that he was going to introduce on the floor in september because we were frustrated at not hearing from the administration, but the president's national security team, look, i'm a critic of the president, but i think the national security team is solid. and so i expect to hear in significant detail tonight, and then we'll kick the tires about it in september. >> before charlottesville, what happened there, were you for taking down confederate monoyupmonoyup monumen monuments? and what's your stance now? >> charlottesville was about hatred, bigotry, and murder from people largely outside the state. if it was just about statues, we wouldn't be talking about it.
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i had to grapple with that. the way i always tried to look at this was subtraction is one thing, but it's also about addition. we did, as i was mayor, we had to knock down two bridges that were kind of old and named after civil war generals. we rebuilt them and named them after civil rights heros. we put up new statues to lincoln celebrating his visit to richmond. we protected the monuments we had. we thought let's fill out the story of who richmond and virginia is. we unveiled the civil rights memorial on the capital square. >> would you recommend to democratic leaders that that's probably the wiser approach, moving forward? >> look, i think there are probably some statues that need to be taken down. even my conservative paper in richmond has said to put jefferson davis on a monument
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avenue, why this they fought for the u.s., they were following orders, but jefferson davis was leading a nation to white supremacist slavery. >> i have to bring up, and this is -- you're in the heart of robert e. lee country. >> yep. >> it is so hard for people outside the south to understand that in the south, robert e. lee, when we were growing up, even if you were -- in the middle of the civil rights movement and even if you were -- i had liberal democrats in law school, every time you said robert e. lee, oh, he was a true southern gentleman. there's always been this great mythology around robert e. lee. even shelby foot, listen to them talk about robert e. lee. how are you sorting through that
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right now? the south, we grew up with one vision of robert e. lee. >> u.s. grant's memoirs about the civil war is probably the best. he said about lee, this is close to a quote, he fought nobly and h honorably for one of the worst causes. i think that's it. i think people who hate the confederacy to give him respect is the mag any anymorety when the war was over. he said do not put up memorials to confederates. >> lee didn't want shat statatuo him? >> he said we've one nation now. and that brings up some admiration. as you were grappling with in the capital, every state gets two statues in the hall. and you get to pick two people to represent the entire scope of your state. virginia has george washington. that's an obvious one.
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but since 1909, number two is robert e. lee. i think when we have so many other people, in 2017, is it really robert e. lee that we would say is the person we want to stand for who virginia is? i'm not sure it is. >> and you look at that. you have also in virginia two slave holders representing the state of virginia. >> right. and you could look at it two slave holders, two people that the most recent of whom was active in the 1860s. we haven't had anything good in the last 100 years that we think should respect us. >> there were statues designed to be removed over time. the only requirement is that you can't remove anybody within ten years. i think a lot of states have to grapple with it.
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we have a great mayor in richmond who put together a commission to look at all the statues and monuments. one point that's important. in virginia we're history obsessed. why did the four years of the civil war merit so much more attention than 250 years of blood sacrificed by hundreds and thousands of slaves who built up our state and lived and died in our state and sold in our state and aren't recognized virtually anywhere. >> and if you go to the nation's capital -- >> who built the capitol? >> from south carolina and you say other states, mississippi? you have two confederates? i'm sorry. in 2017? that's just not acceptable. >> and when somebody says gosh, it's about our history. well, is it? if it was about history, wouldn't you have a full history? >> and we've seen all the maps that -- of confederate statues. a lot of these things came up as a reaction, as a middle finger
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to washington during civil rights. it was to protest the advancement of civil rights. it wasn't put up in 1865 or 1866. >> look, you're making the point. i don't know. it's amazing we're even having the conversation, and i applaud you and all the politicians across v.a. who have stood up here. i have a question that's related but slightly unrelated. this issue is obviously going to be prevalent in political races. what do democrats have to do in addition to talking about these things to resonate with voters and i think you are uniquely qualified to talk about it because you're up for reelection as we speak. >> i think there's been no state that's had as big a political transformation from virginia from red to blue three in a row in presidential elections. we've been progrowth progressive. on economic issues while the republicans say we want to grow the economy, we don't say we want to just make it fairer.
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we say we want to grow the economy and our strategy of skills, better skills, better wages, better jobs is more likely to produce economic growth than the less taxes less regulation. what democrats need is a crisp economic message that's about growth. and so if we're -- we're progrowth progressives in virginia. we've gone blue three in a row. it is for the health of the democratic party, watch the virginia race. 100 rays up. two years ago we could only get 60 democrats to run in 100 seats. this year we have 90 democrats running in 100 seats. this will be a bellwether for 2018. >> virginia's off year election is always a bellwether. it was in '93 and 2009. i'm sure it will be this year too. senator thank you for being with us. big replacements fan.
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i asked him what his favorite was. he said, "tim". coming up next, chris hill who just last month criticized dr p donald trump's, quote, meandering policy. we'll ask him what he wants to see when "morning joe" comes right back. hey, i've got the trend analysis. hey. hi. hi. you guys going to the company picnic this weekend? picnics are delightful. oh, wish we could. but we're stuck here catching up on claims. but we just compared historical claims to coverages. but we have those new audits. my natural language api can help us score those by noon. great. see you guys there. we would not miss it. watson, you gotta learn how to take a hint. i love to learn.
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welcome to "morning joe." we were just talking onset about this fascinating contrast between sort of the mythology of robert e. lee and what a lot of historians say the truth is about robert e. lee and about how when i was go growing up in the south even the most liberal democrats would -- were almost worshipful toward him and the mythology around him. and you have seen the same thing in virginia? >> yeah. i spend a lot of time in virginia. i have friends who have voted democrat their whole life and will celebrate robert ec. lee's
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birthday every year. this idea this lee was somehow magnanimous, treated his slaves very well, actually, you'll find people who said he personally had them whipped and then poured salt water into his wounds. he's not the figure that white southerners want to think that he is. and they would still say well, he fought for the noble cause. he was the general we needed. he was the noble guy. he fought for the confederacy, but he was a noble guy himself. it's time for, i think, a clarity on who these historical figures were and what they actually did if they're going to sit up there. >> in 2017 maybe it's time to listen to robert e. lee's advice from 1869 and maybe not have reminders of the civil war dotted all over the landscape. especially if they were put up in 1959, 60, '61, '62 as
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protests against granting black americans the same civil rights that all americans had since 1776. with us now from denver, let's bring in the dean and former u.s. bards to south korea christopher hill. mr. ambassador, thank you for being with us. >> chris, when you listen to the president tonight talking about afghanistan, what will it be that makes you convinced that the white house actually does have a strategy for afghanistan that differs significantly from that of george bush or barack obama, and gives america some kind of coherent long-term goal and plan in the country? >> well, it used to be said that afghanistan was a good war and iraq was a bad war. i think everyone has kind of included that iraq was a bad war and afghanistan was the worst war. and certainly this president wanted nothing to do with this and kind of turned it over to
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his secretary of defense. i think what's clear is the secretary of defense said we'll work out a strategy, but you have to be a part of it and announce it. i think what's probably going on, and i think this represents mr. mattis's approach, this needs to be set in a regional context. you're not going to solve afghanistan without figuring out how to deal with tall biban all. you need to understand how this works with qatar. they've helped the taliban over the year. people hate dealing with pakistan. pakistan has not been helpful on issues of trying to hold down the taliban, but we're going to have to deal with them. i think we're going to see a strategy that will be broad-based in terms of the region. i think that's a good sign. i think we're going to see a lot of tough love for the afghan government, and i think that's probably coming from the
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president who probably can't stand dealing with the afghan government as well. it's one of those things that one has to do that's come through and say what we're going to do in afghanistan. i mean, probably increasing 5,000 troops on top of the 8,000 troops. no one thinks this is going to make a historical difference, but it might be time, and it tells the afghan government we're going to give you more time but not forever and tries to get the region involved, i think it's probably going to be that type of strategy. >> heidi is with us from washington and has a question. >> ambassador, how is this strategy essentially going to look any different than barack obama in 2010, and like you said, trump very much ran on getting us out of conflicts like this. barack obama wanted out. when is it time for the president, if we're going to have to be there as a nation for another decade or so, to essentially level with the american people and tell them that? >> well, i think the president, if he had his druthers, would
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probably be out. i think his advisors have convinced him having helicopters leaving the roof of the embassy is probably not something he wanted to see during his term. he's been in over sixth months. he can't blame everything on obama. i think he's essentially going to have to deal with the problem out there, and realizing that a bigger problem would be the perception that we have lost and lost now. so i think what is different here is a measure of real tough love with the afghan government. i mean, really kind of telling them they got to step up on this. secondly, i think we're going to probably talk a little less about issues that frankly have been there for several thousand years such as corruption. corruption didn't just descend on them from mars a couple of years ago. corruption has been there for centuries, and this idea we're going to wag our finger at afghan government and get them to do more on this is probably not going to happen. i think you'll see a note of
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realism, and i think thanks to general mattis, perhaps a note of more regionalism. >> switching to korea, if you look since the latest back and forth in the rhetoric, how would >> sea of fire. i think that was never really happening. so i don't really see much encouraging from the north koreans. i think they have her rilly gone about trying to deliver nuclear weapons for years. and i don't see any change there. i don't think it was helpful to have president trump sounding like a north korean himself. i think that allowed to chinese
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to say calm down including the united states. >> ambassador, good morning. bannon on the way out was quoted as saying there's no military option. >> than i do with. there is scope for doing something in the narrow space between peace and war, but to go after north korea in a kind of preempt ivestrike and to essentially invite them to launch artillery, the worst
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thing would be where we don't tell the south korean government we're going to do that because we want the element of surprise. i think the second worst thing is telling them. i don't see any real scope for this type of military solution. i do think we need to figure out how to slow down this thing through cyber attacks and whatever attacks between peace and war. >> all right. ambassador, christopher hill, thank you so much as always. we love having you on the show. >> thank you. >> still ahead, the associated press has reporters from across nine states speak with republican officials and already some of those leaders are beginning to openly express their doubts. three of those reporters are with us straight ahead. it's time for a getaway.
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"morning joe" president trump is under water in three states that helped him with the election. we'll have the numbers. tonight the president is
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try listerine® zero alcohol™. knowing where you stand. it's never been easier. except when it comes to your retirement plan. but at fidelity, we're making retirement planning clearer. and it all starts with getting your fidelity retirement score. in 60 seconds, you'll know where you stand. and together, we'll help you make decisions for your plan... to keep you on track. ♪ time to think of your future it's your retirement. know where you stand. good morning, welcome back to "morning joe." it's 8:00 a.m. on the east coast, 5:00 a.m. out west. mika has the morning off, she is somewhere in nova scotia trying to see the total ecluipse of th sun. with us mark halperin, washington anchor for bbc world
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news america katty kay, professor former democratic congressman and hopefully the hope of the future democratic party, harold ford jr., remake it, harold and senior politics reporter for "usa today" heidi prz przbella in washington. looking "the post" about the polls in the midwest. this is kind of a big thing. president trump obviously was the first republican in three decades this week -- michigan, pennsylvania, wisconsin. the new nbc poll shows the president is not doing so well in those three states, and these three states are important states because if you talk to people on the inside, from the very beginning -- i know, jeremy, you have heard this too. they specifically from day one from january 20th, said we're going to focus on michigan, we're going to focus on wisconsin, we're going to focus on pennsylvania. those are the three states that we're basically going to be
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running in over the next four years. well, in michigan the president has a 36% job approval rating. 55% disapprove. in pennsylvania 35% approve. 54% disapprove. in wisconsin 34% approve, 56% disapprove. the president has negative ratings of 19 points in michigan and pennsylvania,ing and 22 in wisconsin. in each of these three states, more than 60% of voters say -- that's six out of ten for you kids at home -- they are embarrassed by the president's conduct. fewer than 3 in 10 are proud of his performance, and voters in those states say they prefer democrats in control of congress. a 13-point gap in michigan, 48 for the democrats, 35 for the republicans. in pennsylvania democrats hold a ten-point advantage. 47% to 37%. in wisconsin democrats ahead by eight points. 46% to 38%.
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mark, a lot of the things that -- first of all, we have to say, those votes were taken after the president fumbled around the white supremacist comments. obviously, right in the aftermath, those -- i would guess those numbers are going to be low. we don't know if they're unusually low. obviously donald trump did what other republicans couldn't do in winning the election and winning in the upper midwest. this actually is -- he talks about fake news all the time and fake polls, but this matters to them. >> those numbers reflect the national numbers. they're three politically important states. if the president wants a fall comeback, he is going to i'm sure ask himself why in three states that he won is his political standing so very weak? >> by the way, of those three, he barely won michigan.
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he barely won wisconsin. he won pennsylvania pretty comfortably. if you want to see a state that's dropped the most, at least of those three, pennsylvania has dropped like a rock. >> and it's a state that is politically intuned to the economic issues that the president ran on and on which he is going to have to make more progress if he is going to be any more popular. it's interesting. you know, you look at the national poll numbers and think about the southern states where he still is more popular, although he has lost some support. that offsets some of the weaker numbers in places like california. those three states great to poll in. he can't then hide from the fact that he needs a fall comeback if he has a political standing and get anything done. >> you see all these national polls. that means very little to the white house when their folks are
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signaling 2020 from the day they got in. you know, alabama, i don't know that his numbers are v really changed that much many alabama, mississippi, or arkansas because of what's happened over the past week. when we see all these polls that say 82% of republicans support donald trump and what he said or agree with him or whatever, there's only a 5% fall-off. they aren't going to embrace robert e. lee as some cultural icon. >> i was just in europe for a few weeks, and i think every single day somebody would come up to me and ask he can't possibly be re-elected, right? because of the peculiarity of american electoral college, you have to say, well, he has a chance, but he has a chance if he can do well in michigan,
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wisconsin, and ohio. the question i guess is in six of those ten -- the six of the ten people that say they are embarrassed by donald trump, how many of those people voted for him last november? that's going to be the critical issue in the mass of the next election, right? how many people who voted for trump in those key states now say that they're embarrassed by him? look, 4 in 10 will still saying they're not embarrassed by him. that's a pretty high number. >> well, yeah, but still. if i'm in politics or tv or anywhere and 60% of the people say they're embarrassed by my job performance, i mean, listen, i'm embarrassed by my job performance. >> the majority of those would have already been embarrassed last november. >> this does matter. jeremy, this matter because of what happens on capitol hill. people are saying, wait, why are you going through? it matters because in politics, as henry kissinger always said, perception is reality.
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if you are sitting at 35% in your three most important states, and people will say, wait a second, why do i have to listen to this guy? >> first, you brought up his poll numbers among conservatives and republicans, and those are eroding at the national level. those were -- he was kind of sitting comfortably in the mid 80s. those are sliding down closer to 80, even in the high 70s in some of the polls that i've seen. that's not great. you are right. what will kill trump politically more than anything else is once these senators and congressmen start to feel like they can derive no more political power from him, that their constituents don't care about trump anymore. >> if you're not in the deep south, you're getting pretty close, aren't you? >> yeah, i think so. i think part of the issue here is it's not just trump's popularity, but it's his ability to -- these are intertwined. his ability to display competence. can they get something like tax reform through the congress and at the same time have an economy that's humming along nicely
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enough where people can overlook some of the personal foibles and the crisis that they just otherwise would dwell on more if they were hurting financially. >> yeah. heidi, it does at the end of the day also -- it comes down for so many people behind you on the hill the fact that this guy is just not getting anything done. he will do infrastructure week, and then he will say things to make people think he is embracing the klan. wait a second. that off ramp in oshkosh may not get done. >> and in some ways, joe, it's almost in the rearview mirror. almost i say just because in a couple of weeks these members will all return, and that the moment they will literally have weeks to stave off a government shutdown and a default. we've been down this road before. the same actors that pushed us into this situation before in terms of the tea party and the freedom caucus are still here. there's no reason to think that
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we aren't going to have a big smackdown drag-out, and then once we get through that period, we're heading into the holidays. when has trump returned to michigan or wisconsin or pennsylvania with that fiery
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populist message on trade, which is the same reason, by the way, that bernie sanders upset hillary clinton in michigan? it was because of the economic argument. i remember the days when you would drive a japanese car into a ford motor parking lot, and it would get keyed. people -- those people are still there. that message on trade is a big part of why he won those midwestern states. he has not championed that agenda. as a matter of fact, people see those headlines of him sitting down at mar-a-lago with the head of china with him kind of backtracking on his fiery chinese currency manipulator rhetoric and just launching investigations, but no real action. >> still ahead on "morning joe" steve bannon says, "i feel jacked up" after leaving the white house. just ahead, and he the folks at breitbart are wasting little time in getting started. plus, history would suggest democrats have the serious advantage headed into the midterms, but it is hard to do when they're barely treading water in fundraising. you're watching "morning joe."
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>> if i'm steve bannon, i would just focus on the wall. that was his big promise. that's what republicans aren't going to give him, and he just hammers the wall, the wall, the wall, the wall. knowing that they're never going to give donald trump the money for the wall, but that's how he whips up his base, and he makes that the issue. instead of going after all these other people, you go after that one issue, and, who knows, maybe he moves trump that way. >> it would seem to be the one promise that donald trump cannot waiver on. steve bannon understands that better than anybody else. with a weapon like breitbart, you are able to change the conversation on capitol hill by hammering where is the funding for this wall, you are denying the president this campaign promise he made to the people, they elected him, and you better
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come up with it. that could be big fight with republicans. >> what is the chance that mitch mcconnell will ever give money in a spending bill or raising the debt ceiling for donald trump to build this wall that just about every expert says won't stop the flow of immigrants, illegal immigrants? especially since more are going south to mexico than north to america right now. between 0 and 0.1, i would say. the wall wasn't an issue even when there was a pretense when trump did have political capital, and we thought he could get something done, and it certainly isn't in the cards now. where i think bannon can be very effective is not pushing this policy agenda, but that point where republicans realize they're not going to be able to get much done, bannon turns his
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machine when it comes time to assign blame in this administration for why they haven't gotten anything done, somebody is going to take the fall, and i think that trump will be happily teamed up with bannon in trying to turn that fire on to republicans. >> attacking the do nothing republican congress. with us now let's bring in political reporter for the washington post, moderator of "washington week" on pbs, bob costa. bob, a lot of chaos over the past several weeks. especially since charlottesville. i mean, there was chaos before that, but it really has gone into hyper-speed. with steve bannon out of the white house on friday, what is the new white house look like on
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monday, and what are you expecting to see over the next few weeks? >> well, we saw on friday, joe, the war cabinet, the different military officials that meet with the president at camp david, and the afghanistan remarks tonight will be really crucial and signaling not only the president's policy, but who he is as president. he ran as someone who was somewhat skeptical of intervention, someone who soured on the wars in afghanistan and iraq by the time he ran for president in 2015 , and now he is going to likely be based on my reporting approving a few thousand more troops going to that country. will that hold? then the next day you have him going to arizona amid all this talk about what happened in charlottesville and his response to charlottesville. >> mark halperin, let's talk about tonight, and then we'll get to the arizona rally, which can cause some real problems for the trump white house. tonight afghanistan. the president goes out as commander in chief and talks about an issue that's been
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haunting this country for 16 years now. >> victory is just around the corner, according to the pentagon. always in the war in afghanistan. as steve bannon and the president were lonely voices in the administration for saying we need a different strategy. we can't just do more of the same to try to avoid a loss or imagine a victory. the pentagon, you know, whether bannon departed or not, the pentagon was going to get its way, and it has. it's not what the president talked about as a candidate, but it shows the force of the deep state, if you want to call it that, and of the military arguing to every president as they did to barack obama. you don't want to be the president who loses this. >> and we -- it's not as if we don't have precedent. barack obama removed all the troops from iraq, said it was time, and created a massive void that we're still paying for in a vicious way five years later. you know, donald trump has to know that. >> yeah, and that irritating reality of iraq hangs over his
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decisions on afghanistan. it matters i think who says we haven't got a strategy. we have 16 one-year strategies in afghanistan, and the question tonight is going to be has this white house come up with anything more than that, or is this just more of the same of, well, we will put in a few more troops to stop the tide of the taliban incrementally taking over afghanistan for the moment without any long-term strategy? i mean, unless they've come up with something that nobody else is thought of, it's very hard to see how the strategy has changed. this looks just like more of the same of what the obama administration did. >> then, harold, we -- bob costa brought up the rally in arizona tomorrow. there's a chance that donald trump may go out there and actually pardon the sheriff who defied a judge and a judge's order, violated it, ignored it, and is in the middle of that process. if he does that, he may please
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three or four white nationalists, but he will further enrage every guiliani from maine to southern california. >> i'm not clear if you do want immigration, and you have immigration reform that includes a wall, does this endear you to democrats and republicans? we keep talking about how he has to win democrats over. he also has to reunite his party. you have republicans in arizona urging the president to postpone this trip in light of all of the things happening around him. you can't ignore tim scott, the popular republican senator from south carolina who happened to be african-american said over the weekend that president trump's moral authority has been weakened. i'm being charitable in describing what he said. we all knew there would be a moment when the president would have to look at the american people in the eye and talk to us about national security. this is one of those nights.
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if the michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania numbers are correct, people heard him. this would be easy to solve. we would get out of these things. this is not something america should be in, but we're traveling right back down that path. >> coming up on i morning joe" seven months in can the trump white house figure out how to actually govern? these are serious, serious times and there's some serious tests ahead. we with will talk about the tests and whether the trump white house can pass them when "morning joe" comes back.
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in just a few minutes we're going to be talking about carl ica icahn. the latest business advisor to cut ties with the trump administration. we'll ask why. maybe it has something to do with a new yorker article, but first, bill karin has az look at the day of weather and the eclipse that says just a few hours away.
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>> we're watching a mass of clouds and we're worried about the clouds in kansas too and a few off the south carolina coast. this is the path of totally. this is where millions of people are kong gating as we go throughout the early afternoon. we're going to start the eclipse with the forecast here. it starts here just on the outside of newport right on the coast. there are some coastal clouds. i know a lot of people have headed inland to get a better view. baker city is gorgeous. if you are headed to sun valley or jackson, wyoming is just absolutely gorgeous. i-25 is back. we saw pictures on the roads there on how crowded we are looking. as far as severe weather goes, we do have 20 million people at risk. very large hail. you could even have tornadoes to worry about later on this afternoon. this is all soeshlted with the clouds that are possibly going to block the view for people today in kansas city, northern
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missouri, and also around des moines. today's forecast, significant cloud cover and rain. the midwest will be the problem. a lot of areas like tennessee look gorgeous too. even most of south carolina should be absolutely perfect as we go throughout ow afternoon and our eclipse. first one since 1970 coast-to-coast across our country. as we go to break, here's the story of michael beschlof with a look back on today. >> this day in 1991 gorgeous h.w. bush responded to a hard line coup in the soviet union that threatened to p tole the soviet union mikhail gorbachev. it also threatened take the world back to the worse days of the cold war. when it was over bush got on the telephone with gorbachev and told him he was glad he was still alive. >> it was a good call. gorbachev is still in the crima. he will return either tonight or toe tonight or tomorrow to moscow. he tells me things are you should control. >> bush had come to the white house with two decades of
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>> don't you think he should be on his belly? see, you go and put your hands right here, and you press forward. give him some air in the lungs and the water will come out. go ahead, you try. >> me? >> yeah. >> i don't even know him. >> oh, i'm sorry. gus, this is marvin. >> hello, gus. how are you? >> yes, sir.
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>> jerry lewis performing their iconic lifeguards skit from the colgate comedy hour. jerry lewis passed away on sunday. he was known for slap stick comedy routines and rose to fame with dean martin in the 1940s. the two starring along side each other on the big and small screen for exactly a decade. >> jerry who, my partner? >> jerry lewis, your partner. >> oh. >> come on down. come on. >> come on. more, more. hold it. hold it. come on. let's go. >> it was after the two broke up
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that lewis hit super stardom. he appeared in more than 50 movies, but he didn't win his first oscar until 2009 accepting the humanitarian award for his work with the muscular dystrophy association. his annual telethon, which raised billions is perhaps what younger generations remember about him. jerry lewis was 91 years old. you know, jeremy, you don't remember. you just don't remember. it's hard -- i don't know if you are old enough. do you not remember? >> i don't remember. >> god. i'm grandpa here, and i have somebody -- >> i have somebody from britain that doesn't understand. nobody. i'm looking around. nobody. >> here we go. >> 1970s. >> i used to watch it all the time. >> every labor day it's hard for people to understand every labor day. you wake up in the, and jerry lewis literally did his telethon
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all day. it was on all day. i can't imagine the tens of millions of people that watched every, every labor day. it was -- it's what you did on labor day. yeah, he raised billions. it was fascinating. this weekend also saw the passing of dick gregory, a comedian and civil rights activist who is being remembered for his hard-hitting commentary on racial issues. >> as i have expressed to dr. king, the reason i'm not going to do my 180 days, because i can't see them giving me 180 days and only giving hem five, and he started it. >> gregory broke barriers and was one of the first black comedians to find success in in performing in front of white audiences. he also tried his hands at politics making an unsuccessful run for mayor of chicago in the mid 1960s and as a write-in candidate for president. in his later life he took on the
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role of health advocate. dick gregory was 84 years old. back to politics now. more republicans have come out criticizing president trump responding to the deadly events in charlottesville. in a lengthy facebook post nebraska senator ben sass says it feels like violence is coming. he wrote, in part, "what will happen next? i doubt that donald trump will be able to calm and comfort the nation in that moment." the number two senate republican john cornyn told "the houston chronicle," "i think the president had an opportunity to send a message that would unite america behind our common resolve to heal those wounds and unite our country. unfortunately, i don't think he did that." in the wake of last week's events the associated press had reporters speak with republican officials. several of whom are beginning to openly express private doubts and anxiety about the president's recent actions. in kentucky republican state senator whitney westerfield called trump's comments after
quote
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charlottesville's protests more than a gaff. i'm concerned he seems to firmly believe what he is saying about it. tom davis, a republican state senator representing coastal south carolina said to his discredit he has been maddeningly inconsistent in advancing those policies, which is part of the reason so little has been accomplished. chip lake, a georgia-based republican operative who didn't vote for trump in the general election, said it's impossible to see a scenario under which this is sustainable under a four-year period. let's bring in three of the ap correspondents who contributed to that report on capitol hill. washington bureau chief for the a.p. julie pace in madison, wisconsin, statehouse correspondent scott bower in atlanta, ap national political reporter bill barrow, also here on the set with the conversation we have columnist for "the "new york times"" brett stevens. let me begin with you, julie. anything new here, or are these a lot of the same republicans that said donald trump would never run, donald trump would
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never win the primary, donald trump would never win the general election? >> well, we tried to talk to republicans who really were across the peck trum on trump during the election. some folks like chip lake, who you saw there who didn't vote for trump in the general election. others like tom davis who was a trump delegate at the convention, and folks who after the election decided that they were going to rally around trump and support hem as a president. we focused on people who were willing to talk about trump on the record because there's been a lot of private discussions about the president in washington and around the country among republicans in terms of what they say about his competence, about his ability to be a successful president, but we really wanted to focus on what people were willing to say publicly, and i think, you know, we have to remember, this is not normal for republicans -- for a party to be saying these types of things about a sitting president from their own party. >> yeah. >> it is just not something that happens in politics. >> it's very abnormal, and i know a lot of people are saying, well, not many have stepped out, but the number that have seems fairly unprecedented seven
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months in. you even have some people talking about a primary three and a half years from now. they will tell you that's at the top of his list. if he has any chance of being re-elected. his numbers obviously have fallen there, but he wasn't the most popular guy in wisconsin even on election day. there's a real divide between republican strategists and consultants and the like. the grassroots still seem to be firmly behind him, and the other folks are saying -- i had one person tell me last week that it was the worst week of the american presidency he could remember in his lifetime. there's a real divide if are you in wisconsin. >> bill, it's katty kay here. you write about chip lake, who is a georgia-based gop operative, and he says he told
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you that he finds it impossible to see this being sustainable over a four-year period. did he come up with some kind of scenario in which this doesn't last a four-year period, that you think is plausible? >> chip and several others mentioned that as the pressure builds, you might think there would be some tipping point, some breaking point for the presidency, but chip added, and this was reflected in other conversations i had, i'm done making prediction with this president. it's just every time you think it is going to reach an absolute breaking point, he comes back or simply is able to sustain himself not in a way that yields to effective governance, but in a way that still doesn't necessarily threaten his overall standing. that's sort of the -- even from the republicans coming out, i picked up this sense of i still don't know where this goes now and what does this mean not just for the party, but for the
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country. several people did mention, though, that they think if there is a breaking point, it will not come until -- unless and until the special counsel yields the proverbial smoking gun, and republicans on the hill are probably going to wait until that point. >> i found this very interesting this weekend. a lot of people are starting to talk about itch peachment, and a lot of republicans saying just resign. a lot of suggesting that somehow this tipping point is any different than, i don't know the "access hollywood" tipping point or the thousand other tipping points before that. calling a former miss universe fat. insulting a gold star mother. using race, pretending he didn't know who david duke was. pretending he didn't know what the klan did the same before super tuesday. saying he was going to ban over a billion muslims because of the god they worshipped. what tipping point? we've had those tipping points. what's different now? >> what -- the thing is the president has a unique ability to change the subject in american politics. tonight he is going to talk
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about afghanistan. he can just -- he can just move on. he has that -- presidents in general have that ability. his achilles heel is this is a guy who can't apologize, so to the extent that he is pressed on the issue, as you saw on tuesday in his press conference, he is going to go forward with it and take a deeper hole for himself. if he has enough discipline, which is the biggest thing in american politics, he can just move on. >> it used to be that people would say personnel is policy. as somebody -- >> not with this guy. >> i was going to say, as somebody who has been harshly critical of donald trump from the very beginning, does it provide you any comfort that, you know, flynn is out and bannon is out and now you have mcmaster and -- do you see any -- do you see any silver lining in this very, very dark cloud hanging over the whoutite house? >> it provides me comfort in the
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same way it must have provided my father comfort in 1973 and 1974 that you had alexander haag, elliott richardson, henry kissinger in it the white house. a sense that not just the president, but a presidency was in decline, and there were serious people at the helm. the real issue, though, is that personnel is not policy with trump because he still retains the whip hand in the administration, and the tenor of the administration spurts out of his mouth. i mean, that's the problem. it isn't as if he is abiding by carefully crafted statements. he just rolls with it. >> julie, it's jeremy. i had this really interesting conversation i think you might appreciate given your reporting over the weekend with somebody who is about as die hard a trump supporter as you can get, and she said to me, well, you know, if i don't defend him, who else is going to? i thought that was such a fascinating window into the psyche of trump supporters. somehow this man who has had every advantage in the world has
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billions of dollars, tremendous success, is -- he is convinced americans that the system is stacked against him and that they need to rally to his side because no one else will. >> it's still a binary choice. they hate the press. the media is being too tough on him. they hate the democrats. this is still about hillary clinton. this is still about msnbc. this is still about the "new york times." this is still about bernie sanders. this is still about everybody but donald trump. >> it really is -- it really is striking when you talk to folks out in the states, and bill and scott know this better than i do from being in wisconsin and gornl george. trump has really played into a feeling among a lot of americans that the deck is stacked against them, that the media is corrupt, that washington is corrupt, and every time he raises these
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issues people feel a connection to it. this idea, again, that he has painted himself as in a corner by himself that hz supporters need to rally behind him given all of the advantages that he has is actually quite a talent for him to be able to do it, but it also gives you a sense of why that support is so rock steady among that roughly 30% of voters that just will not move no matter what he does or says. >> scott, so we started the program at 6:00 this morning talking about the new nbc marris poll and the number of americans in wisconsin who say they are embarrassed by the president's conduct. it's 64%. take us back to november just in the week or two after the election. where would that number have stood then, do you think? how many wisconsinites, how many more wisconsinites are embarrassed by the president perhaps than they were back in november, or is that number actually not changed very much? >> i think the key thing to remember to look at is how republicans in wisconsin feel about donald trump versus the
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entire state and how they feel about donald trump. his numbers among republicans have improved to the point where he is actually -- in a poll that was done here in wisconsin a couple of months ago, he is more well liked among republicans here than house speaker paul ryan who is from wisconsin. >> that's so interesting. >> so -- to julie's point, you know, i talked to a trump supporter in western wisconsin last week who said, you know, nothing in his mind had changed over the past week and the people he talked with at the high school football game that friday night, they just don't believe anything they hear from the media, and they remain completely committed to trump and they feel like, you know, he makes some ill-advised comments. maybe his timing is not so great. he is the same guy he wants in november when they voted for him, and they're not really surprised by what they've seen so far. >> you know, and look, embarrassment is a complex emotion. when you are embarrassed for someone, your you're actually kind of rooting for them. you feel badly.
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that he have stumbled. they're on their back foot. you kind of want them to stand up. you want to see them rise. part of the -- i think part of what people here in new york city don't get is that when americans hear donald trump, they'll say he is inarticulate. he was trying to say -- he was trying to issue a condemnation. they won't necessarily hear, well, he was equivocating between neo-nazis, or they'll say he didn't quite get the picture, but we're jumping on top of him for failing to issue -- >> he is not a politician. he is not good at this. it will take some time. right. making excuses. >> most normal people wouldn't be good at it, by the way, either. it takes an inauthentic polish to be so good at it. >> i remember his first town hall meeting in new hampshire, and we came on the next day. we said it was incredible. he didn't even complete his sentences, but the people in the audience, you could tell, they were all completing his sentence for him. they didn't care that he couldn't complete sentences. he this didn't care that he
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wandered all over the place. it's an obama supporters don't attack me for saying this, but, you know, barack obama had that wonderful line in it one of his 12 biographies that he wrote about he was 29 years old, and it was -- i was like a mirror, and people reflected their own hopes and wishes and dreams off of me. well, with donald trump it's almost like he is a mirror and if they resent the media, if they resent liberals in washington, if they resent academics, you know, liberal college campuses, that's all reflected off of donald trump. they don't care whether he finishes his sentences or not. >> no, that's exactly -- >> his supporters will blame the media, the russia investigation, and the republican party for his failure to get things done pretty much in that order. >> yeah. well, actually, the top three will be media, media, media. >> yeah. >> yeah. exactly. all right. julie pace, scott barrow, and bill bower, thank you, guys so much. we really appreciate it. hope you come back.
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let's go now to the new york stock exchange. sarah eisen is there at cnbc. sarah. >> good morning. >> what happened with carl icahn? he quits like two seconds new comes out about him. what's going on with carl icahnsome. >> so, yes, joe, the president lost another very high-profile corporate adviser. carl icahn, a lot of personality, longtime trump supposu supporter and friend, stepping down friday, nothing to do with charlottesville unlike the other corporate supporters and advisers last week. this one came just hours before this "new yorker" article blasted and accused icann of using his role as special adviser on regulations to actually push a conflict of interest in one of his own energy refinery investments. now, icann for his part said he was stepping down to avoid partisan bickering that would distract from the agenda. i'll read you a quote where he
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personally defended himself, said i never had a formal position with your administration or a policymaking role, contrary to the insinuations of a handful of your democratic critics, never profited from my position nor do i believe my role represented complicit interest. but he has a stake in cbr energy. the shares of that stock actually popped when icann was appointed to this role, and his article goes into great detail how he was pushing to revoke an epa protection rule, at least part of it, that would actually benefit his company and his investment and had been hurting that. i do want to also mention, treasury secretary steve mnuchin out over the weekend defending himself and the president after more than 300 classmates of his from yale university 1985 called on him to resign. he defended the president, said that he was not bigoted or racist, he also said as someone who's jewish, i believe i understand a long history of violence and hatred against the jews and other minorities.
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a potential boost there for the president's economic agenda when mnuchin has to work hard imminently with congress now to make sure they get a debt ceiling bill raised by september 29th. >> all right. cnbc's sara eisen, thank you so much. coming up next, the dnc has its worst july fund-raising haul in a decade. the democrats' money game and what's going to wrong and how they turn it around next. ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪ my bladder leakage was making me feel like i couldn't spend time with my grandson. now depend fit-flex has their fastest absorbing material inside,
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now that donald trump will be running for re-election, presumably, he'll have a record to run on. and we can compare the empty rhetoric with the reality. and we can also talk about what we stand for and what we will do as democrats. >> that was dnc chairman tom perez last week on "morning joe." so far the gop has a huge advantage in the money race. with us now, we're going to talk to him about it and see if we can blame all the democrats 'problems on him, congressman from pennsylvania, you're wearing a tan suit. >> i thought being with a southern gentleman i would -- >> i appreciate the tan. >> i'm a big matlock fan. >> i remember when barack obama wore a tan suit republicans tried to impeach him. things have changed. >> those were nice days when that was the biggest thing to worry about with the president. >> let's talk about the democratic party. how could they not be ahead in fund raising? why does charlie cook have races breaking the republicans' way
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when republicans have just failed by just about every measure over the past seven months? >> first on the fund-raising you're looking at the dnc and rnc numbers. the dcc skrshgs outrising our republican counterparts and there are outside superpacs as well. so i feel like that part of the story has been a bit exaggerated. i feel good about the polling from yesterday from my home state of pennsylvania, which i think is the single bellwether in the country, the fact that trump is now over 20 points under water and only at 35% approval in pennsylvania where we will have four, at least four competitive congressional races, all in the suburbs and outer suburbs of philadelphia. i feel good about where we are now, especially because, look, going into a midterm election, we structurally have the advantage. >> yeah. you certainly should. bret. >> look, the problem is, i don't know what the democratic party stands for other than hating trump. and, you know, you saw it in that special election in georgia
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where you had all the enthusiasm, you had thousands of volunteers, tons of money. and a district that could have swung your way. it doesn't do it, and i think it doesn't do it for this reason, above all to average americans, democrats stand for the party of content. they stand for the party of content for ordinary americans, for their struggles, for -- also for sort of traditional values, and until that changes and there's a genuine outreach to sort of the white working-class american voters, that's going to be the indelible image of the democrats, party professors, elizabeth warrens who are out of touch. >> and people who wear tan suits develop ahead. >> from a blue-collar neighborhood and the first in my family to go to college -- >> i want a tan suit. >> where is that american flag? >> let me take the last thing you said because there is an element within the movement left
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that believes that we should just be the party of well-educated rights and racial minorities and leave blue-collar parts behind. i fully 100% reject that view. if you look at scranton, luzerne county, erie, pennsylvania, places in michigan and wisconsin, fool toish write off because barack obama carried them twice. they went for john kerry and al gore. anyone who says that we should kind of turn the page and reject those voters i think it's -- first of all, it think it's wrong to begin with, and second not in our political interest. >> 2020, give me three of the names of democratic candidates, leaders who could win the white house back for the democrats. >> i think there are more than three but sherrod brown, bob casey, my home state senator, tim kaine, who you just had here in virginia. i think there are really a ton, but the personalities sometimes obscure what we've just been talking about in terms of the deeper issue of what the party stands for. we're always going to be the be
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v party at our best that stands for opportunity for all americans regardless of race, religion, and where you are on the socioeconomic ladder. >> the democrats do best when they're a post-identity party. bill clinton was a post-identity party, so was barack obama. this isn't what the democrats are today. >> emphasize diversity but also the unity aspect and having that unifying vision that appeals to everybody. >> thank you so much. great to have you on. come back. >> sounds good. >> can you come back tomorrow? we didn't have you on long enough. >> i think i can. >> we'd to talk for about three hours. thanks for being on. we appreciate it. that does it for thus morning. by the way, tomorrow morning, catty says i read too fast. >> we're learning. a process. >>ly slow down. chris jansing. >> 1.5. >> okay. >> picks up our coverage right now. >> you have to leave the eclipse-watching party, off with you. hi, i'm chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle, who is eclipse wa

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